tv Piers Morgan Tonight CNN January 29, 2011 9:00pm-10:00pm EST
we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. good evening. i'm wolf blitzer in washington. >> and i'm isha sesay at cnn wormed he world headquarters. pictures from cairo where it is now 4:00 in the morning. relative calm settled with nightfall but in the midst of the dark there are increasing fears of anarchy and uncertainty. tens of thousands stormed the streets earlier today, many of them peaceful. some burning and looting police stations and other businesses. we're seeing but cannot confirm reports that put the death toll at 102.
it's clear today's outrage was caused by president hosni mubarak's unwilling ms. to step down. what we saw was embattled leader firing his cabinet it at the point his intelligence had omar suleiman as second in command. many complaints about no police and no security. in fact nile tv is reporting that 1,000 prisoners made a deadly escape from a prison near cairo. another worry to tell you about. looters. residents around cairo put up barricades and are standing guard to defend their own homes with bats and kitchen knifes. events in cairo unfolded rapidly throughout this historic day. straight to ivan watson who is in the streets with the protesters. ivan, bring us up to speed with what's happening right now and given me perspecve on the curfew, how well it was observed. >> reporter: well, it's pretty sleepy right now because it's 4:00 a.m. here and the streets are pretty quiet.
there is a presence of egyptian tanks and what i thought after making a red eye flight to cairo saturday morning was seeing almost emitty streets in the morning and then pockets of people standing in front of the burnt out shells of police stations and of police transport vehicles and people snapping souvenir photos in front of them and as the day progressed larger crowds chanting, down with millennium b millennium b mubarak and embracing the troops that had been brought out where the police had disappeared basically. we haven't seen hardly any presence of police. we had crowds of as many as 40, 50 people riding around on tanks offering tea, cigarettes to the
soldiers saying we are one and the same. but in addition to the festive scenes, scenes of violence, just a few blocks away outside the headquarters of the interior ministry where we saw demonstrators throwing rocks trying to actually storm that build i building and being fired upon with some kind of bird shot type of plastic bullet, things that were hitting a number of young men and we saw them being treated in the streets in makeshift first aid stations. so scenes of jubilation and more signs of unrest as well and we know that some of those clashes were also taking place in other cities around egypt, alex andri as well. isha? >> we're getting reports of looting and many descriptions of people feeling threatened. we've been able to get a handle on who is actually carrying out these acts of violence. what are people saying?
>> reporter: well, that's very difficult to tell whether this is opportunistic or this is organized. in addition to the burned out police stations i saw i also saw grocery stores, ordinary shops, broken over and looted and people gathered outside. at one point a man came up to me and he said this is a disaster. the police have disappeared overnight. even the embassies from any common robber. who can i turn to for help? and there is a feeling of people being unsettled and fearful that some of the scenes of destruction of the symbols of the old regime here such as the national democratic party headquarters which is still smoldering that that could lead to further anarchy and unrest. isha? >> ivan watson with the very latest from cairo. thank you as always.
wolf, ivan painting a picture of rapidly developing situation there in egypt and a lot of fear on the streets of egypt right now. >> like all of our reporters he's doing an absolutely fabulous job reporting a dangerous, difficult story, a story of such enormous magnitude sometimes boils down to something very, very personal. earlier tonight cnn's senior international correspondent talked about the protests in egypt not so much as a reporter but as a husband and as a father. he's deeply worried about his own family's safety in the face of looting and vigilante justice. he's lost his voice so we'll listen to him from earlier in the day talking about his deep concern over security in the absence of police protection. >> reporter: we basically have to figure out how to protect our neighborhood and like so many other places neighbors got together and said we've got to do what we can because nobody else is doing it.
what happened when the army came into cairo, the police started -- and as the police started pulling out, attacking police stations, egyptian police are widely hated for corruption, brutality, torture. and once the police left the police station, people went in and started stealing the weapons from inside and other weapons in the hands of all sorts of people. my wife, in fact, called me to say she saw in our neighborhood a group of men who wrapped scarves around their faces and were walking around with ak-47s. so it's this sort of specter of chaos that had me most of the day not working as a journalist, just trying to make phone calls and figure out how i can ensure the safety of my family. i wasn't on air for quite a while just trying to figure out what to do. >> ben wedeman there and, wolf, clearly it's a difficult time
for people like ben who have family there on the ground trying to tell this incredibly complex and difficult story. >> it's amazing. my heart goes out to all of the people in egypt right now, journalists, nonjournalists. this is a story that does have a powerful human dimension beyond all the strategic importance and all of that. on a human level there are people dying right now on the streets of cairo, alex an dandr and that's got to stop. >> yeah, it has. let's tell about the situation in alexandria. in that port city what started as relatively calm protests grew much more intense. senior international correspondent nic robertson has been in the thick of things on the ground there. >> reporter: this is almost getting to be nightfall here in alexandria now. the people very clear on what they are saying. they want president mubarak to go. if he has any honor and dignity, leave. they are also saying if you want to leave, then go to saudi arabia. it's waiting for you.
this is the message. >> i want to make a report. >> reporter: i'm making a report right now. we're making a video report right now. what do you want to say? >> i want to say that he said i will stay. i will stay. >> reporter: so you think he's going to stay? >> he's challenging us and we are challenging him. we cannot have a curfew. we are staying here. he's not the president anymore. >> reporter: thank you. so you're hearing it from the streets right here. he's challenged the people with by saying -- this man is telling me -- >> he wants to calm us down. >> reporter: he wants to calm you down -- >> by saying that he will stay. that's not calming us down. >> reporter: that's not kamg you down and that's what we are seeing here, people are angry and they are saying right now that he must go. >> as the protesters make their voices heard opportunists are trying to strike.
looters hit homes and businesses, abandoned police stations were picked clean of weapons. the egyptian army forces deployed the national police who seemed to have simply vanished. a museum obviously struck by looters, we are getting reports of both army tanks and members of the community circling the famed egyptian museum, home to king tut and other relics of egypt's storied past. egypt's revolt is playing out for all the world to see, but it isn't the only hot spot in the arab world. we want mubarak to get out. get out, mubarak. get out of egypt. we don't need you. we don't want you here in egypt. get out. ugh, my sinuses... the congestion...
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it's now early sunday morning. we're getting reports from the reuters news agency, by the way, that they have now spoken to mohamed elbaradei who says he is not, repeat, not, under house arrest. he expects the situation to escalate. mohamed elbaradei won a nobel peace prize, the former head of the international atomic agency. he's back in egypt now, among those in favor of the demonstrations against president mubarak. this is clearly a historic moment in egypt, events unfolding so quickly it's difficult to keep up with all of them. egypt is just one country in the arab world undergoing political upheaval right now. let's discuss what's going on with national security contributor fran townsend who used to be president bush's homeland security adviser. also shibly telhani of the saban center, professor of university of maryland and elise, state department producer.
thank you very much for coming in. let me get your reaction. a strong statement issued from the leaders of france and germany. the british prime minister, nicolas sarkozy and angela merkel. they said the egyptian people have legitimate grievances and a longing for a just and better future. we urge president mubarak to embark on transformation that should be reflected in a broad based government and free and fair elections. to me that statement goes beyond what the obama administration has been saying, specifically the words of a promise of transformation. it sounds like they are calling on him almost to step down. >> well, i would say a two-pronged statement there, wolf. the rest of the statement was that we recognize the role that hosni mubarak played in the middle east peace process and we ask him to use that moderation now in addressing the needs of his people and i think it really
if you take that along with the comments of president obama yesterday, secretary clinton, it really reiterates the tightrope that these powers and they want to be on the right side of history. they want to support the aspirations of the egyptian people. they are riveted by what's going on. at the same time the cold reality is that these countries also need to protect their interests. hosni mubarak is a very critical ally to the u.s. and to europe and these are the powers of europe just like hosni mubarak is the power of the middle east and they need to work with him if the event that he does stay, they don't want to alienate him and if he does leave, they're concerned about a vacuum. they're concerned about who comes next. so they're really trying to walk this tightrope right now and those are kind of measured statements if you will, wolf. >> let's say he decides tomorrow, you know what, i'm 82 years old. i've been in power 30 years. i'm ready to retire. let someone else have that responsibility, can he stay in egypt or does he have to flee and go -- you know the arab
world. does he have to go to saudi arabia or abu dhabi? >> it obviously depends on what follows. i can't imagine doing that unless the vice president, in this case the one just appointed, omar suleiman, becomes president and they announce this is a transitional government and they'll have elections anyway. in that case my own sense is he probably would leave egypt. it would be very uncomfortable for him to stay there. he might test it out a little bit but that might be my guess. we haven't gotten to that point. he is not leading it very well. he's started losing touch with his people. i would argue in the 1990s, certainly in the past decade. the one event that really affected the way he behaved was the assassination in 1995. he started relying on the security services being very insecure and went into more of a separation -- >> an assassination attempt.
omar suleiman basically saved his life -- >> no question. >> but there are widespread reports as you know that his son, gamal, has fled egypt. his wife, mrs. mubarak, already fled egypt. do you know anything about that? these are reports -- i haven't confirmed them. >> i've seen the reports. obviously you're going to have these rumors. they could be true. they could be untrue. you can imagine we're talking about narratives. everyone wants to tell you time is on their side. they're winning and they're losing. we have this kind of thing where the government will say we're stable and those people who want to overthrow it are going to say it's not. i want to say something about the obama administration that you started talking about. let's put it this way. obviously it has to be on the side of the people, no question about that when it comes to democracy, freedom, we have to be on the right side and the president is saying the right thing on that. we can not make this about america. this isn't about america. you know, the bush administration tried. it failed. tunisia worked.
we can't be -- we think when we asked what should the president do, well, i'm sorry. we're not going to decide who the next will be. it's out of our control. even if we try, we don't do it. we haven't been good at engineering it. let's keep our perspective. >> the u.s. has a limited capability in affecting the street in egypt, i think it's fair to say. if you were advising a president as vice president bush but you were advising president obama right now what would you tell him, fran? >> well, it is true this is about the people of egypt. this is not about the united states. let's remember, we subsidized the egyptian military with over a billion dollars in aid every year. >> almost $2 billion. >> so it's not without levers. we have tremendous, tremendous leverage. >> would you cut that off? >> the white house made perfectly clear they're reviewing that now. the interesting point now there has not been any positive development post-president obama's statement last night. tomorrow secretary clinton will go on the sunday shows, she'll
be here with candy crowley. the pressure will mount for her to make a statement. she can't just hold the line. i tend to agree with you. they have gone a little bit further which only adds to the pressure secretary clinton will be under on the sunday shows and there will be a lot of scrambling to prepare her very carefully for what she says tomorrow. >> the reuters news agency, shibley, now also threatening to reduce aid to egypt. there are 80 million people. germany is threatening to reduce aid. it's a pretty poor country. >> yeah. i don't think any of that is going to be a major factor in what's happening on the ground. the public is doing what it's going to do. the government is fighting for its survival. aid or no aid in the short term they're going to have to behave in whatever way they're going to have to survive. all that have is kind of
external. we're arguing among ourselves. when we say there's political pressure primarily here. in the arab world, sure, you might find some democracy advocates who would say i'd like to hear more support but the conspiracy theorist who is are saying the u.s. is trying to engineer its own outcome in egypt so let's keep some perspective. it's not about us. let's not make it about us. >> let's keep it humble. thanks very much. fran townsend, thanks to you. elise, our senior state department producer as well. isha, this is a story that is moving very, very rapidly. i suspect over the next 24 hours there will be some more very dramatic developments. >> yes, they said it will be. some exclusive interview we did earlier on cnn. egyptian ambassador to the united states went from hourly contact with the white house and his own government on friday to what you might call radio silence today as he worries for his own family's safety.
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as the outlook ahead. a lot of us are shocked by what we're seeing in egypt. you've lived there your whole life. are you stunned by what has happened so quickly? >> the development but egypt is an important part of the arab world. its importance rests in the strength of its population and resourcefulness and their ability to overcome. >> you have loved ones, family members in cairo and elsewhere. what are they saying to you? >> well, there is, of course, a sense of crisis. they are all concerned. they want to see egypt and the best possible of light and there is the security, most people have the responsibility upon themselves. among them my younger son who has joined the neighborhood watch who was protecting private property. >> what is he saying to you, your son? >> a great deal of solidarity among his neighbors.
>> but they're afraid of what? >> they are afraid there have been reports of vandalism, of looting, of attacks on private property. they are banding together to protect each other. >> but they don't have guns. >> i think they are resorting to their numbers, resorting to their ingenuity and to their ability to fend off any attacks. most of these attacks have been sporadic, have been isolated, have been perpetrated by some hooligans, some criminals and when they see resistance they have confrontations. >> mubarak has never allowed a vice president to emerge. today he named omar suleiman. what does that mean now that he has finally decided at age 82 to allow egypt to have a vice president? >> the demonstrators, i think
have indicated their concern relating to the future and this comes as to what steps should be taken to reassure the public in terms of the ability to egypt's institutions to continue to operate and to continue to provide the government and the personnel who need it, the leader sh leadership and the capability to fulfill the aspirations of the people. >> can we now assume in advance of elections if something were to happen to president mubarak, if he decided to step down and flee or do whatever that omar suleiman would then emerge as the next president of egypt? >> constitutionally if the president is incapacitated or leaves office, the presidency in a temporary manner is transferred to the speaker of parliament who is under obligation by law to conduct elections within 60 days to elect a new president. >> do you think he would be more acceptable to the people who are demonstrating on the street than
president mubarak is? >> i think he is held in high regard. i'm sure he is recognized for that and in many quarters he is held in high esteem. >> the key to what happens in egypt, a lot of experts have suggested is what the egyptian military winds up doing. will they stay loyal to mubarak or move to the people on the streets? what's your assessment? >> the egyptian military has always been the safety for egypt. it protects its citizens. it protects its borders and it is held in high regard and esteem. it has always demonstrated its ability to create stability and provide welfare for the egyptian people. >> if mubarak loses the confidence of the military, it's over for him. >> the military is an important aspect of egypt and egyptian
politics and it is necessary, of course, of such an important institution to have -- >> lives are at stake as we all know and we wish your family obviously safety in egypt as well. thank you for coming in. >> thank you. i can't tell you, isha, how many people are tweeting me or sending me e-mails, getting in touch with me. they are so worried about loved ones. in egypt right now family members -- it's a source of great concern. still right now the middle of the night over there. it will be daylight soon but there's a lot of deep concern because the uncertainty is widespread. >> yeah, as we know and have been reporting that people in various neighborhoods having to take matters into their own hands to protect their possessions, protect their beings as people head into the streets, of course, instability and to loot.
as we approach the dawn of what everyone expects will be day six of protests in egypt, this is what we know. curfew is in place and it is relatively calm in egypt right now but earlier today these were the scenes. tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets. much of it was peaceful. there was also looting at police stations and at some people's homes. hospital authorities in alexandria tell cnn at least 31 people have been killed. early yerp the state run nile tv reported 38 people had died. what is starting to look like anarchy in the streets has some egyptians resorting to vigilante justice. in the absence of police protection, citizens are now arming themselves with sticks and knifes to protect their homes and belongings. nile tv reported tonight about 1,000 -- 1,000 inmates -- escaped from a prison outside cairo. the mubarak government is holding firm for now. the president appointing his
longtime intelligence chief as his deputy, a first for his government, wolf. a major development today. >> it's a huge development. for 30 years there was no vice president in egypt. now, all of a sudden today there is a vice president. we'll see how that unfolds. as egyptians cry out for freedom, they now live with the fear of lawlessness. residents are arming themselves with bats and knifes. we'll speak with one woman in cairo who witnessed thugs plundering nearby homes. ♪
many innocent bystanders are caught in the middle of egypt's looting and chaos. in cairo security is desperately needed. we are joined now by phone. it's my understanding homes near you have been ransacked. tell us about that, what you've been seeing and hearing. >> hello? >> kareem, if you can hear me -- >> i can hear you. i'm in cairo right now where what is traditionally a very safe district, ten minutes walking from the president's house, but there's absolutely no safety here whatsoever. we've been hearing gunshots left and right all night long. the men of each household have come down and formed their own group militias, holding down
security for every building because we have loved ones upstairs, women and children. we don't have any police and we keep having people who have brought down knifes, brought down whatever they can find in their houses. we are not a traditionally armed and violent people as egyptians. we don't carry guns usually. so we are not prepared for this. and the police is nowhere to be found. the mill taerp is nowhere to be found and we keep hearing reports of bandits coming loose. we heard from a nearby group of friends of ours that they captured a group of bandits. five of them were in a car. they were escaped convicts and they were able to capture them. another area very close by as well we had a micro bus that was ravaging through the area and shooting guns in the air rapid
ly and they were also captured by citizens who have taken justice into their own hands because, as you can see here, the state has completely failed us. the regime has completely failed in being able to provide basic security and one thing egyptians are now united on is this. whether you are for the protest, anti-the protest, everybody has lost faith in the regime. the regime has shown they cannot provide basic security. i stand proud today to be here in the streets protecting our home as citizens until we see something. >> kareem, let me jump in right there because before you go on, was that -- were those gunshots i heard as we started this conversation? >> yes. those are gunshots in the distance and they keep coming and there hasn't been one sign
of anything stopping it and it's quite alarming. we're trying to do our best here. we have made blockades to stop people from coming through, made molotov cocktails, waiting to do what we can do. but the point is much more severe than this. there needs to be international pressure to do something about the situation. the situation cannot continue. we are sitting here and we are asking ourselves there's two hours left until the sun comes up. what will happen tomorrow? will we wake up to an egypt that is changed, what all of our dreams, hopes and desires is our genuine right or will it continue? will we continue to live in a state of fear? that is our question and the question i pose to you and what will the world do? as an egyptian american i question myself. >> kareem, let me ask you this. as you have those dreams for the future of egypt, what do those
dreams look like? describe that to me. what is it you are looking for, you are demanding? >> what am i demanding or the people demanding? >> what is a collective desire as you understand it? >> whether i support the pr protests or not is not the point. the point is that the regime has lost credibility. regardless of whether you support the regime or not, the regime has lost credibility and the faith of the egyptian people and the international community. on every level. we have been put in a basic situation and regardless whether you support the regime, what is being used right now are scare tactics to scare egyptians into feeling that unless they support basic security in this country they will be tormented and that
is what's happening. people are hiding in their homes. people are on the streets with knifes. people are scared and the government is leaving us to be scared like this because they want the people to succumb. they want people to feel that the only option is to follow the government whether you like it or not. >> final question, kareem, do you feel you and the street militia you have formed will be enough to protect your families and your friends from any looters that may come into your neighborhood? >> i mean, we have street mill i millish yeahs at every corner. we are not some organized united front, unfortunately. we are trying to do what we can do. we have crude weapons but we know that we are not trained and we are not trained in any sort of weaponry. what we do know is we cannot stand by. we don't know what's happening in the country and we have to provide protection for our families. this is what we've been reduced
to. we're in survival moment right now. and there is no sign from the government that anything will change. >> we have to leave it there. i want to thank you for joining us. wolf, you hear from what sounds like a very, very tense time there in cairo. scary stuff indeed, isha. just getting this in from reuters, the reuters news agency. they've had a chance to speak with mohamed elbaradei, the former head of the international atomic energy agency, an egyptian, one of the opposition leaders. he's now back in egypt. let's listen to what he's saying about all of these demonstrations. >> he obviously did not understand the message coming out from the egyptian people. it was almost an insult to the egyptian people that the only response i will have a new government people know full well that he is in charge of every aspect of running the country. i hope he will understand the
message before things will get ugly. >> he's referring to hosni mubarak, the president of egypt. he is firm in his denunciation of the egyptian leader. that's mohamed elbaradei, one of the opposition leaders. earlier he told reuters he is not, repeat not, under house arrest. i assume he'll be out on the streets as the daylight begins in cairo in the next few hours. meanwhile, dancing with leaders who rule with iron fists. for years the u.s. has supported egypt's hosni mubarak. democratic administrations, republican administrations. has president obama now, though, decided to cut ties with him? some answers up next. >> the people of egypt have rights that are universal. that includes the right to peaceful assembly and association. the right to free speech and the ability to determine their own destiny. these are human rights and the united states will stand up for them everywhere. hi, i'm chanelle pickens.
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the uprising in egypt has turned into relative calm with night but the stakes remain high. there are no reliable reports about the overall death toll as a result of the protests. hospital authorities in alexandria tell cnn at least 31 people have been killed. earlier the state run nile tv reported 38 people had died. well, this was the scene
throughout egypt earlier today. massive unrest. tens of thousands of people were out swarming the streets. the protests grew more intense as president mubarhosni mubarakg to power. right now the police have disappeared leaving residents scrambling to protect homes with bats and kitchen knifes. the military dispatched by mubarak did not interfere with the protests. but keep in mind who the powerful army sides with, mubarak or the protesters, remains key to the outcome of all of this. wolf? >> all right, isha. the u.s. government certainly has a long history of reporting directly or indirectly iron fisted dictators. now president obama finds himself facing a tough dilemma, offering moral support to the protesters while struggling over what to do about hosni mubarak, the egyptian president. let's discuss with fran townsend, a cnn national security contributor, former president george bush's homeland
security adviser, also joining us mona, an egyptian born, commentator and journalist. what would you want president obama to do right now? >> i would want president obama to make it clear he supports the people of egypt because they represents the future of this uprising. >> has he not done that yet? >> i have not heard that. i think president obama has been trying to square a circle and it's impossible to square that circle because president obama is the latest of u.s. presidents who have supported hosni mubarak at the cost of the freedom and dignity of egyptian people. let me make something very clear. i don't want -- no one in egypt wants america to rescue egypt. egyptian people will help themselves. we opposed the invasion in the name of democracy and you see the shambles that happened after that invasion thanks to president george bush. we don't want to be invaded for the sake of democracy. we want to liberate our own country. we want our countries around the
world to understand stability must never come at the price of our freedom and dignity. and when you mention people like hosni mubarak who are pillars of that stability for u.s. administrations, they represent torture and rendition. they torture terrorism suspects for the u.s. administration. that's who the egyptian people -- i heard the egyptian ambassador to the u.s. say he i is highly regarded. the egyptian uprising against my lark despise him because they represent torture and egyptians want freedom from human rights' violations. >> the new vice president, the first time in 30 years there's been a vice president in egypt. fran, you've met omer. he may not be respected by the protesters on the street but i know for a fact and maybe you've worked with him, he's respected here in washington by the bush administration and now obama administration officials? >> that's right. he's a well-known figure in washington and perhaps, more
importantly, wolf, throughout the region. no question, leaders of the palestinians, israel, saudi arabia, throughout this region know him, trust him and rely on him. they seek his advice and council in dealing with issues in the middle east peace process so he's widely known and regarded throughout the region and that is important if there's a transition of power from hosni mubarak. >> has the train left the stain in egypt? is it only a matter of time before the demonstrators get what they want? or will the military step up and support president mubarak and crush the demonstrators? >> hosni mubarak is finished. the reason i say that is it took four days for tens of thousands of egyptians to bring to the knees a 30-year dictatorship. it took him four days to call the armed forces out in the street and ask them to help because his security forces could not crush the courageous
egyptians in the streets. if it takes four days to make mubarak's tyranny crumble. they're finished. they're telling the egyptian people we understand your grievances and egyptians are moping the armed forces listen and side with them and the future of egypt and move out of the way. when calm is established and allowed for an interim government that's civilian, egyptians are sick and tired of being ruled from the military. mubarak is from the military. let me tell you one thing what mubarak recommends. he's ruled since 1981 reason since that time the united states has had five presidents. the armed forces recognize that and i'm glad they haven't opened fire on egyptians and i hope they'll be there to enjoy the transition to peaceful, civilian power. normal military men. >> you think the obama administration will shift gears at all tomorrow? >> i think you're going to see secretary clinton -- she almost
can't go out, wolf, without advancing -- >> she'll be on all five sunday talk shows including "state of the union" tomorrow. >> that's a heavy schedule and there's lots of opportunities for misstep and she'll be carefully prepared but i suspect because there's been this period of time since president obama and president mubarak made public statements to the world, and very little positive action, none, actually, and more people are dead and injured in egypt, she's going to be forced to advance this narrative. >> we got to leave it there. thanks very much for helping us throughout the night. mona, i follow you on twitter. you're doing an amazing job. good luck to you. and we'll stay in close touch. the story is not going away. we'll stay in close touch throughout the week. this story, i suspect, in many ways, is only just begin something. >> you're absolutely right. i think we'll watch the days and weeks ahead. as we come to the end of our cnn
life special "egypt in crisis" we leave you with the poignant sights and sounds of the people actually living it. >> here's some voices of our cnn i-reports in egypt. >> we we arrived here on wednesday night after everything had been going on and we got stopped at the airport. the tourists held our bus at the airport because there were protesters along the street where we were coming into our hotel. >> during the morning there was a lot of police that had built up rightfully, on the bridge. and the surrounding square. and there were no protesters until after prayer. at some point before 2:00, one could hear chants from a distance, allah, got is grade. and it starts to get louder and louder and then from behind a really tall building i see like a huge crowd of demonstrators
and just, you know, you don't see tend of the line. there's so many demonstrators. thousands of them. about three or 400 rightfully guarding the bridge crossing. they were shouting things at the police and the police were shouting back. and it started with teargas and the police hitting the protesters. >> they were throwing, like, flamed molotov cocktails. there were explosions like teargas canisters, fire was everywhere. what you're seeing is the first part that started earlier in the afternoon and the second wave came at about 4:30 or 5:00 and there were like tens of thousands of people just coming over that bridge. >> the teargas went into the crowds so they saw a lot of teargas but the crowds went back, like up to 100 meters back
and they still start shooting the teargas. just a mound of teargas they shot went up into the air and t flew up to the hotel. >> the later protesting, all the people coming across the bridge and wondering where they were going to go because there's the next street available is the street that goes right in front of our hotel and wondering if they were going to, you know, be able to come in or not or where they were going to be disbursed. >> i saw a few people helping this person who looked unconscious or injured. and, yeah, taking them abay. >> we saw fire erupting and then we wondered if we should pack a bag and be ready to evacuate. >> i feel for the people on the streets. the egyptians. they're the ones who are having
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